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2 Palestinians injured by live fire in Hebron-area clashes with Israeli forces

July 2, 2016 5:53 P.M. (Updated: July 3, 2016 5:07 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian youths were shot and injured and several others suffered from tear gas inhalation during clashes with Israeli forces Saturday afternoon in the Hanina area of the village of Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.

Medical sources at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that two youths had been injured with live fire -- one in the shoulder and one in the stomach, and were evacuated to the Hebron Governmental Hospital for treatment.

Sources added that several Palestinians who suffered tear gas inhalation were treated on the scene.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that "100 Palestinians" attacked Israeli forces with rocks, and that the forces responded with riot dispersal methods, firing warning shots into the air with rubber-coated steel bullets -- not live fire as was reported by locals. She confirmed hits were made but did not have further details.

The clashes came as the entire city of Hebron, the occupied West Bank’s most populous city, entered its second day under full Israeli-implemented blockade.

Israeli authorities decided to prohibit all passage outside of the city in the wake of three deadly attacks and attempted attacks in Hebron on Thursday and Friday that left two Palestinians and two Israelis dead.

Muhammad Nasser Tarayra, 17, was shot dead after he stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli girl to death Thursday morning in her bedroom in Kiryat Arba, and illegal Israeli settlement in Hebron.

On Friday morning, Sarah Tarayra, 27, was shot dead in Hebron’s Old City while she allegedly attempted to stab Israeli soldiers stationed there.

It remained unconfirmed if the Muhammad and Sarah were related, though both were said to be from the village of Bani Naim in Hebron, which in particular has been placed under a complete lockdown.

Later on Friday, an Israeli family from the Otniel settlement in Hebron was targeted by unidentified shooters, leaving one killed and three injured. As of Saturday, Israeli forces were still searching for suspects, with reports of several Palestinians being detained in connection to the attack.

The closure of Hebron, along with wide-scale detention raids conducted in the city, are likely just the beginning of punitive measures taken by Israeli authorities on Palestinians, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet was set to meet Saturday night, reportedly to discuss a wider crackdown on Palestinian civilians.

After another Palestinian was shot dead on Thursday by an Israeli civilian after allegedly carrying out a stabbing attack in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya that left two Israelis wounded, his hometown in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem has also been placed under blockade.

Clashes also broke out on Friday at the Qalandiya checkpoint, and a Palestinian man died from severe tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces violently suppressed Palestinian men attempting to cross into Jerusalem.

Israeli forces have also come under repeated criticism for excessive use of force, as well as lethal methods of crowd control that often result in death or injury of protesters.

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